Which fuel do you use?

Hi everyone.
We are gonna tour and hike SA in the comming year (esp. Cederberge, Drakensberge, and a bit all around), and are just getting our equipment sorted. We were just going to use this as a reason to get a bit of a bigger stove - as I am a sucker for the trangia, that would be the choice: https://trangia.se/en/shop/trangia-stove-25-1-ul/
Just to be sure, though, I checked, and didn’t find any burning spirit in any of the Cape Town outdoor shops. Am I just missing something, or could that actually be a problem in SA? We will have a car, so could store an extra bottle or two while we are out of the cities; but I would prefer not to take a 3 month supply with us from Europe…
I searched this forum a bit and get the impression that most people do use gas stoves. Is that so? Any experience on going with a spirit burner, supply-wise?

Thanks for the feedback!

p.s.: Multi-fuel stoves are only the third option for me.

I’ve very little experience with white fuel stoves (made some small stoves over the years, decided they were not worth the effort), so if anyone knows more please correct me :sweat_smile:

The easiest source of fuel you will find is methylated spirits. Which is generally 95% ethanol with additives to make it visually distinct and unpalatable and give it an odor. You can get it at most hardware shops or grocery stores.

As far as I understand it burns clean, and I have used it successfully in small stoves. I don’t enjoy the smell of it burning and it can leave behind a sticky residue from the additives. In the UK some people talk about fixing this by adding a little water.

You can also get rubbing alcohol in pharmacies, which is generally 90% ethanol. So no additives but not sure it is the best in terms of energy output and price.

I would say most people here use gas stoves. The canisters are normally readily available from outdoor shops (Cape Union Mart would be the big one here) or agricultural shops. Some of the wilderness reserves also have fire bans, which I think mean you technically can’t use an alcohol stove.

You will be able to find fuel for the Trangia, just can’t guarantee quality or pleasant use. My advice would be to just grab something like a Soto Amicus or Windmaster in europe, both are fantastic gas stoves and then just buy a stock of gas canisters to keep in the car in what ever city you land in.

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Hey there.
I use PowerFuel 1.0L - Just Like Papa in my multifuel stove and this works well. I dont know if it works as well in your Trangia but this shop will help you source whatever you might need.


Thanks a lot for all that info everyone! I checked the PowerFuel - that seems to be more gasoline than alcohol, so I would not use that for the Trangia. But the methylated spirits are what I was looking for. Heard about adding a little water - but as spirits are burning at a low enough temperature as it is already… :wink:
As we have a random very basic (= light) gas stove as well, I might just bring that along, and if it turns out that the spirits available all are too unclean, then that will be our emergency solution.

Hi I have had my trangia for about 40 years. What you need to buy is methalated spirits from most supermarket’s. It is blue, and you do not want to get it in any of your cooking pots or kettle, it tastes terrible to stop the locals from drinking it

I have a trangia - I use meths in it, but I saw with interest, bio-ethanol fuel in what looked like a 5liter bottle at build-it. I am going to buy some and try it out in my trangia. Hopefully it will smell better than the meths. - Sue

Hi Sue,
That does sound interesting - let me know when you tried it, would be interested in your experiences!

Did this fuel work. There is nothing worse than spilling meths in the kettle.

What about Benzine? Or is Meths better?

Ive decided to try 98% pure alcohol as a test. Loving it. No smells, nice and clean, burns nicely. 30ml gives me a flame for about 10 minutes in calm conditions (no wind)